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Voting Rights, Disability Rights, Civic, and Community Groups Support Bill to Move City Election to Even-Years

May 21, 2024 – Citizens Union, the Let NY Vote coalition, and two dozen advocacy groups signed on to a memo in support of S9126 (Skoufis), which would align city and other elections with presidential or gubernatorial elections. This change would strengthen our democracy by significantly increasing the number of people who vote for local offices and reducing racial and age-based gaps in voter participation.

Testimony for the 2024 Joint Legislative Budget Hearing

February 6, 2024 - Citizens Union appreciates the opportunity to submit testimony regarding Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed Executive Budget for State Fiscal Year 2025. We will focus on the proposed funding for the  Public Campaign Finance Board, the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying, and the State Board of  Elections.  

Citizens Union Supports Disqualifying Candidates Who Engaged in Insurrection from the Ballot in New York State 

January 25, 2024 - Citizens Union released a statement urging the State Legislature to create a viable mechanism for disqualifying candidates under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. This issue has been raised in a number of states, including Colorado and Maine, that have disqualified former President Donald Trump from appearing on their state’s ballots. The New York State Board of Elections is meeting on February 6th to finalize the state’s ballot for the upcoming presidential primary election. 

Let NY Vote Members Urge Governor Hochul to Sign Bill Moving Local Elections to Even Years

November 20, 2023 – Dozens of member organizations and partners of the Let NY Vote coalition sent a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul, urging her to sign S3505B/A4282B into law. This bill will move some local elections to even years, giving underrepresented New Yorkers a more meaningful voice in their elections and government. The bill passed the State Senate and State Assembly in June 2023, and it is the only election reform passed by the legislature that has yet to be signed by the Governor.

Citizens Union Analysis of the November 2023 Election Finds Significant Voter Turnout Drop in Off-Year Local Elections

November 15, 2023 - In last week’s elections, voter turnout decreased significantly across New York State, including in areas with important local races, according to an analysis from Citizens Union. The analysis compared voter turnout in key races for county and city offices in 2023 with voter turnout in overlapping areas in November 2022, finding that turnout in last year’s elections was higher by 42 percent to 169 percent. According to unofficial election night results, only 18 percent of eligible New York voters cast their ballots in the November 2023 general election. This highlights the need to shift local elections to even-numbered years and consolidate them with federal or statewide races, which see higher voter turnout. 

Good Government Groups Urge Governor Hochul to Sign Into Law S3505B/A4282A, Which Moves Certain Local Elections to Even-numbered Years

Citizens Union, Common Cause/NY, and Reinvent Albany sent a letter to Governor Hochul to urge her to sign into law S3505B/A4282A, which would move certain county and town elections in New York to November of even-numbered years. This legislation will strengthen local democracy in the state by bringing more people to vote for local offices, leading to a more representative voting population and a stronger mandate for elected officials.

Citizens Union Applauds NYC Campaign Finance Board for Recommending Moving Local Elections to Even-Numbered Years in 2022-23 Voter Analysis Report

May 1, 2023 - Citizens Union has released the following statement from executive director Betsy Gotbaum in response to the New York City Campaign Finance Board recommending moving local elections to even-numbered years in their 2022-23 Voter Analysis Report. Citizens Union issued Moving Elections to Even-Numbered Years in January, a report detailing the benefits of aligning New York City elections with gubernatorial or presidential elections

Citizens Union Calls on New York City to Move Municipal Elections to Even-Numbered Years

January 27, 2023 - Citizens Union issued a report outlining the benefits of moving New York City’s municipal elections to even-numbered years. This move would bring elections for city offices in line with gubernatorial or presidential elections. Municipal elections in New York City, which are currently held in odd-numbered years, have consistently seen lower voter turnout than elections held in even-numbered years. Consolidating municipal elections with presidential or gubernatorial elections will increase voter turnout, giving more New Yorkers a say over who governs them at the local level.

CU Report: Moving Municipal Elections to Even-Numbered Years

A new report by Citizens Union aims to examine the potential benefits and impacts of moving New York City's municipal elections "on-cycle" to even-numbered years, to coincide with the presidential or gubernatorial/midterm elections. We analyze how consolidating elections would affect overall turnout, demographics of the electorate, and administrative burdens and costs. The report also looks into the experience of cities that have moved their local elections on-cycle in recent years, like El Paso, Phoenix, and Baltimore, and charts a path to change the election year in New York.

Citizens Union, other good government groups demand Council hold hearings to vet Board of Elections nominee

December 19, 2022 -- Citizens Union, Common Cause NY, the League of Women Voters of the City of New York, NYPIRG and Reinvent Albany have sent a letter to NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and Majority Leader and Rules Committee Chair Keith Powers, calling on the Council to hold a public confirmation hearing for the New York County Democratic nominee for Commissioner of Elections and take transparent measures that would vet the nominee’s experience and fitness to administer elections. 

Citizens Union Issues Statement in Response to 2022 State Budget Deal

April 8, 2022 - Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum on the details of the New York State budget deal: “Governor Hochul’s first state budget presented a rare opportunity to push for meaningful ethics reform in Albany. Unfortunately, the governor and the legislature failed to create an independent ethics oversight body. The new commission designed to replace JCOPE is fatally flawed, will not have the public’s confidence and will not be able to oversee the state’s most powerful elected officials without fear or favor.
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